Common Pathways to Peace through Education and International Relations

Article excerpt

An international panel discussion on peace education was held in April 1999 at the American Educational Research Association conference in Montreal, Canada. ACEI member and peace education author Aline Stomfay-Stitz served as moderator and discussant for this presentation. (For more information about the discussion, she can be contacted via E-mail at astomfay@unf.edu.) Panelists included peace educators from Canada, Norway, Israel, Northern Ireland, and Mali. Each panel member addressed selected aspects of peace education and international relations.

Harriet Field (Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) described an exemplary peace education program in Nova Scotia called The League of Peaceful Schools. The success of this program can be attributed to the philosophical and financial partnerships developed among school boards, all levels of government, and the corporate sector in promoting peaceful environments in the provincial schools.

Mangos Haavelsrud (Department of Education, Norwegian Science and Technology University, Trondheim, Norway) designed his presentation around the major theses of his forthcoming peace education book. He discussed peace as a structure that depends on interaction and integration. The structure of non-peace can be changed through positive human interactions, wherein individuals and/or groups reflect on appropriate means to change, and skillfully act towards creating new peace processes.

Alan Smith (The University of Ulster, Northern Ireland) addressed diverse educational initiatives in schools to improve relations between Catholic and Protestant children. Programs such as Education for Mutual Understanding and Cultural Heritage encourage more contact between Catholic and Protestant pupils. At the structural level, the practice of segregated Catholic and Protestant schools must be addressed. …